Williams is a scholar (philosophy and theology), a teacher (Oxford and Cambridge), and a writer (more than thirty books, including a poetry collection, a biography of Dostoyevsky, and a luminous reflection on the nature of art and love, called “Grace and Necessity”), as well as a priest. In other words, he is a thinker in a world of increasingly harsh theologies. His critics liked to compare him to Barack Obama, because he saw “three sides of any argument” and, as often as not, chose none. The comparison was apt, because, like the President, Williams “reached out” across the aisle—or the transept—to the people most likely to ignore him. He believed that with reason, compassion, and accommodation, he could reconcile a warring clergy.
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